Cross-Language Transfer of Reading Ability

posted Feb 21, 2012, 11:01 AM by Essia Bernstein
Evidence From Taiwanese Ninth-Grade Adolescents

By: Hui-Kai Chuang, R. Malatesha Joshi, L. Quentin Dixon

Abstract: How proficiency in reading the first language (L1) influences proficiency in reading in the second language (L2) was explored in this study. Reading scores in Mandarin Chinese (L1) and in English (L2) for 30,000 Taiwanese ninth-grade students were randomly selected from all who took the national Basic Competency Test during a 6-year period in Taiwan. Results of regression analyses showed that proficiency in L1 reading predicts with statistical significance the L2 reading proficiency of those whose scores were analyzed. In addition, participants’ gender and school district also played small but statistically significant roles affecting the cross-language transfer of reading ability. The results are discussed in light of Cummins’s linguistic interdependence hypothesis.

From :  Journal of Literacy Research. Full text available: Journal of Literacy Research March 2012 vol. 44 no. 1 97-119.